Profiles and reviews of Hindi Popular Films, some classic, some not so classic, all worthy of serious critical attention.
Akbar Anthony (1977) - Looking at Manmohan Desai's "Amar
Akbar Anthony" (1977) The 'Hero' In Bollywood (times three)
and the heart(s) of Indian popular film.
Amar Prem (1971)
- Looking at song picturization in Bollywood films - (Song picturization
in Bollywood films are a unique form of cinema. It is a highly specialized
art form that comprizes many unique talents, from composers, lyric writers,
playback singers, actors, and film crew, who all work together in order
to make that great song that 'everyone' on the streets is humming.) + Synopsis: Brought to the city by her uncle (Madan
Puri) who promises to get her a well-paying job, Pushpa (Sharmila Tagore)
finds herself sold to a brothel. Anand (Rajesh Khanna) a wealthy young man
who cannot get on with his wife, falls in love with Pushpa and visits her
often. But they are forced to go their separate ways...Years later, Anand
finds Pushpa scrounging a living by washing dishes. Now a widower, he offers
her a comfortable life..
- Looking at Shyam Benegal's "Ankur"  and 'Middle Cinema',
The 'art movie' alternative to Bollywood in Hindi film.+ Synopsis: Ankur is the story
of an extra-marital affair that develops between a village girl (Shabana
Azmi) married to a deaf-mute potter (Sadhu Meher) and a rich farmer (Ananth
Nag) who is married to an immature girl. The film is a must watch for the
unusual story line and for the excellent acting by Shabana Azmi, and Ananth
Nag (they won National Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress Awards, respectively).
- Looking at Hrishikesh Mukherjee's "Anupama" (1966). The
beautiful sadness and exquisite sentimentality of the quiet side of Bollywood. + Synopsis: Mohan Sharma (Tarun
Bose) hates his newborn daughter Uma (Sharmila Tagore), as he holds her
responsible for his wife/her mother's death. He makes his hate very obvious
during the day but in the night when he drinks himself senseless, he showers
Uma with affection. This creates havoc with her mental make-up and she grows
into a young woman, who lives in a shell, that is hard to break. Her gregarious
friend Anita (Shashikala) tries hard to help her to get over her painful
shyness. The person who ultimately succeeds in influencing her is Ashok
(Dharmendra), Anita's fiance's friend, a writer who falls in love with Uma.
Ashok writes a book called 'Anupama' in which he projects what can and should
be. Uma understands the message and decides to change herself.
(1963) - Looking at one of the masters of Hindi Popular Cinema's
early films. Manmohan Desai's "Bluff Master" (1963).
Bobby (1974) -
Looking at Raj Kapoor's Bollywood classic "Bobby" - Youth, Style,
Fashion, and the influence of filmed youth culture on a nation in transition.
(With over 40 still photo captures from the film.)
(1967) - The 'Exotic' West - Looking at D.K. Desai's set design in Dev
& Vijay Anand's "Jewel Thief" (1967). (With 32 still captures
from the film.) + Synopsis: A police commissioner's son finds himself
mistaken for a famous jewel thief named Amar. A woman accuses him of having
taken advantage of her and promised to marry her and she is supported in
her claim by her brother. To clear his name, he masquerades as Amar while
the real Amar is pretending to be the commissioner's son. The truth of the
convoluted plot is not revealed till the very end.
Kaho Naa... Pyaar
Hai (2000) - Looking at a modern 'masala' classic from a fan's perspective. + Synopsis: An oft-repeated story is presented in a
fresh manner. Rohit (Hritik Roshan) dreams of making it big as a singer
and en route to success, he meets a rich girl Sonia (Amisha Patel), the
daughter of a villainous man (Anupam Kher). The duo fall in love and the
angry father refuses to unite the two lovers. Rohit witnesses a murder being
committed and is knocked off by the bad guys. A heart-broken Sonia is packed
off to New Zealand where she meets Rohit's look-alike, Raj. This upbeat
version of Rohit has a 'with it' attitude. Raj falls in love with Sonia,
who is plainly uninterested. He follows her to India and is spotted by the
villains who get him on the run...
 - Thoughts and Notes After Watching Rakesh Kumar's revenge
drama, "Khoon Pasina" (1977). + Synopsis: An action - filled saga with undertones
of national integration, the film tells of deep friendship between Hindu
and Muslim families, living in a village. The Hindu lady (Nirupa Roy) adopts
the Muslim child, Shera, when his parents are killed and brings him up with
her own son, Shiva. Zalim Singh (Ranjeet), a cruel gangster burns down their
house and Shera is left for dead. The boys grow up thinking the other is
dead and Shiva (Amitabh Bachchan) becomes a Robin Hood- like thief, who
robs the rich and helps the poor. He meets a beautiful dancer (Rekha) and
they fall in love and Shiva decides to live a straight life. But he incurs
the wrath of Zalim Singh, who sends a hired killer to eliminate Shiva. This
killer is none other than Shera (Vinod Khanna) the long lost friend...
Raaj Kumar (1964)
Looking at the K. Shankar directed, Manmohan Desai written, parody of Bollywood
mythologicals. + Synopsis: An ageing king (Prithviraj Kapoor)
eagerly waits for the return of his son (Shammi Kapoor) from Europe where
he had been sent to complete his education. But when the young prince returns,
he finds a major palace intrigue brewing, involving the king's second wife
(Manorama) and her brother (Pran), who plot to overthrow the king . The
prince tries to foil the villains by pretending to be eccentric. He also
falls in love with a tribal princess (Sadhana).
aka: Sharmeelee - The 'twin sister' story line in Bollywood entertainers.
Looking at Sameer Ganguly's "Sharmilee". + Synopsis: There are twins (Raakhee) who are opposite
in nature. One is full of zest while the other one is very silent and shy.
Prospective grooms shy way from her. A dashing army officer (Shashi Kapoor)
meets the vivacious one but marries the shy one by mistake. A change from
the usual mistaken identities comedy that filmmakers come up with. This
great entertainer has Raakhee in a double role.
Taal (1999) -
Looking at Subhash Ghai's "Taal ...the beat of passion" (1999).
"Taal" the movie in critical review and the making of Aishwarya
Waqt (1965) -
"Waqt"/Time (1965) - Looking at Yash Chopra's aesthetic
of 'glamorous realism'.
The film synopsis on this
page were taken from the film descriptions of IndoFilms.com
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